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tv   Journal  PBS  July 25, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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federal government, but moody's as well as other credit agencies have said that they would put even the triple a-rated states under review if the federal government were to default and subsequently get downgrade there are states whose economies rely on federal spending and have large concentration of federal facilities, employees and things of that nature. so it's going to have an impact. >> ifill: mr. behravesh, people think how does this affect me? will my credit card interest rates go up, will my mortgage go up, should i take my retirement money i'm saving and put it someplace else? is there a connection there? >> there is a potential connection in the sense that if the u.s. were to default, we would see a big spike in long- term interest rates, so that would affect mortgage rates. it would affect car lending rates. it would affect business lending rates. so all of that could be quite problematic for the whole economy. so that's why, you know, certainly the treasury department and one has to say the federal reserve as well very worried about this. and want to avoid this at all
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costs. >> ifill: does it have to actually occur or is merely this delay, this debate, is that already putting its own drag on these areas of the economy? >> well, so far i say the uncertainty about what is exactly going to happen, what's going to get cut, what could be affected is giving a lot of consumers and businesses pause, if you will, making it quite risk-averse. and one of the reasons we're going through a soft patch, it's not the only reason, one of the reasons is this uncertainty. and what is triggering is risk aversion on the part of businesses and consumers. so already in a sense they're anticipating or worried about what might happen and pulling back. >> ifill: as we sit here tonight part of the debate happening in washington is whether any solution should be a short-term solution or long-term solution. the president said he will not sign anything that doesn't take us past the next selection. and a lot of folks on the hill are saying no, we just want to get maybe toward the end of the
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year. does it matter? >> i think it does. states are required by law, their own constitutions, to balance their budget at the beginning of every year. vermont is the only exception but they make that a practice. they just engaged in four years of very difficult cuts and tax increases in order to close $480 billion worth of shortfall. and there's a lot of uncertainty in the air. so if the federal government defaults and essentially has to prioritize payments moving forward, that uncertainty is going to have an impact on states and their ability to deliver important services like health care and education to their community. >> ifill: let me ask you this and i will ask mr. behravesh as well, as we are sitting on the side waiting to see if a deal can be struck, is there a contingency plan that ought to be in place or can be in place to stop us from going over the cliff here? >> i don't know about going over the cliff. but states are certainly putting in contingency plans. treasury lock leer of california has asked banks to give them,
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the state, a $5 billion line of credit. because he knows he will have cash flow difficulties if the federal government were to default. governor mcdonald in virginia, for example, has made arrangements with the state's own treasury to cover the federal portion of medicaid should the federal government goes into default and it's not able to transfer that money to the states. so states are putting in plans but at the same time the uncertainty is real in a lot of states. they are watching this conversation carefully. >> ifill: mr. behravesh, in the longer sense what kind of contingency plans are people putting in place or should they be putting in place? >> i think the contingency plans we're keeping an eye on are those of the federal reserve. because if you consider a situation where we might default or would default and the markets panic, in effect, and there is a sell-off in u.s. government bonds-- which is what the result would be-- the fed indirectly, but going into the markets, could easily buy a lot of government securities and
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prevent that sell-off, or at least limit the damage from that sell-off. so we're quite convinced the fed already has contingency plans in the event that something like this happened. and its goal, of course, is to minimize the economic damage from something like this. >> ifill: we have heard the chairman of the fed talk about the catastrophic potential here but we haven't heard him say what he would do. do you think that's even part of the plan? >> very much so. he's going to keep his powder dry, he's going to keep his cart close to his vest, but there's no debate that the fed has probably multiple contingency plans for a situation like this. they do not want the u.s. economy to be driven back into recession because of, essentially, bickering in washington. >> nariman behravesh of the i.h.s. global insight and kill huh, thank you very much. >> thank you.
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>> brown: still to come on the newshour, the attack in norway, and right-wing extremism in europe; and somalia's humanitarian crisis. >> sreenivasan: the new american ambassador to afghanistan was sworn in today and pledged there would be no rush to the exits. ryan crocker takes over as the u.s. begins withdrawing 10,000 troops by the end of the year. he said the u.s. has no interest in using afghanistan to influence neighboring nations. meanwhile, the nato toll in afghanistan grew by one today. an italian paratrooper was killed in an insurgent attack the west. so far in july, 44 international troops have been killed in afghanistan. the government of syria endorsed a draft law allowing other political parties to form. the move is part of a series of reforms president bashar al assad and his ruling ba'ath party promised in the face of a popular uprising. but the opposition has dismissed the law as largely symbolic. it came as syrian security forces detained more people in damascus and other cities for holding antigovernment protests.
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the maid who accused former i.m.f. chief dominique strauss- kahn of sexually assaulting her in a manhattan hoteroom broke her silence today. nafissatou diallo told "newsweek," "i want him to go to jail, i want him to know there are some places you cannot use your power." she also told her side of the story in a televised interview with abc news. prosecutors have voiced concerns about her credibility, and are weighing whether to proceed with the case. strauss-kahn has denied the allegations against him. for more on this we're joined by john solomon, news director at "newsweek" and the "daily beast," who spent three hours with diallo during a recent interview. >> glad to be here. >> sreenivasan: so after those three hours what about her side of the story struck you most? >> the general consistency from what we heard from the public and saw on the indictment.
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she told the story to a lot of people, detectives, hospital workers, the grand jurors and the prosecutors. and everything we heard sounded very much like the body of evidence that we've gathered at "newsweek" when we did the story, conforming to hotel key records and phone records. and there were also moments where you saw her evasiveness, her reluctance to talk about things, particularly about her past in africa when. i think that also struck us. >> sreenivasan: what was the reason that she gave for why she's coming out now? is the relationship between the prosecution that frayed? >> yes, i think it's really two factors. one is that the relationship with the prosecutors has really gone south in the last month. after her lawyer came forward and disclosed some of the problems with her prior credibility, things went south there. and i think the second part is, she personally was offended by the media coverage where she is portrayed as a prostitute and gold-digging con artist and she wanted to correct the record. she said it really bothered her watching tv, seeing these headlines and being portrayed as something she felt she wasn't. >> suarez: john solman of
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"newsweek" and the daily beast, thank you very much for being with us. >> my pleasure. >> sreenivasan: the united auto workers opened contract talks with chrysler today, the first in a new round of negotiations with all the detroit automakers. company and union officials wore matching jackets in a show of solidarity as they kicked off the talks. workers are pushing for a bigger share of the profits, but chrysler is looking to keep costs down. u.a.w. members gave up raises and benefits to keep the industry afloat four years ago. chrysler's current contract with the union expires in mid- september. the national football league and its players have reached an agreement that will end a four- month-old lockout. representatives of the players association met today in washington and voted unanimously to accept a ten-year deal struck over the weekend with team owners. that bargain now goes to the players association, but is expected to pass. training camps could begin as early as wednesday, and the regular season would begin september 8 as scheduled. opponents of new york's gay marriage law sued to overturn it today. marriage ceremonies started yesterday, the first day same- sex couples could legally wed
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under a new state law. hundreds of gay couples across the state began tying the knot. opponents claim the new york senate stopped lawmakers from speaking against the bill and that it didn't go through the proper committees before coming to a vote in late june. new york joins five other states and the district of columbia in legalizing gay marriage. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jeff. >> brown: and we turn to norway, as that country mourns the victims of friday's bombing and shooting attacks, and begins the court process against the killer. we start with a report from carl dinnen of independent television ns in oslo. >> anders breivak was rushed to court today. in the back seat he smiled, looks relaxed. although breivik admits the killing, he denies he's guilty of a crime. one small mercy today, the police admitted he had shot dead 68 people on the island, not 86 as they had originally thought.
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>> the police and personnel had a very demanding task on the island. just after they arrived. and it was necessary to give priority to those who were injured, and to secure the whole area. in these complex situations the number of deaths first reported were too high. >> in oslo hundreds had gathered outside the courthouse. but the court rules that the remand hearing would be heard in closed session. what are the reasons for holding a closed hearing today? >> it's because of the further investigation and also security. this is a very special matter. >> reporter: but after the short hearing the judge emerged to relay through his translator breivik's first explanation for his murderous actions.
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>> the accused explained that the labor party has failed the country and its people and the price of their treason was what they had to pay yesterday. his intention was not to kill as many people as possible but to give a strong signal that cannot be misunderstood. that as long as the labor party keeps driving its ideological line and keeps destructive norwegian culture and mass importing muslims, then they must assume responsibility for this treason. >> in court breivik claim there were two more cells in his organization. while the police investigate his claims, he has been remanded in solitary confinement for the next eight weeks. a short time earlier at 12 noon oslo time there was a minute silence. norway's king, queen and prime minister led the act of remembrance from the steps of the university. in oslo the trams stood still,
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the rescue workers paused, and across scandinavia the moment was marked. then, by the field of flowers at the cathedral,. some people began to sing the words of a famous poem written for the young people of norway. ♪ >> brown: hours before he carried out his attacks, anders breivik published an extended manifesto on the internet. it detailed his belief, among other things, that islam poses an existential threat to european culture, and that many politicians are complicit in allowing that to happen. we talk about breivik and the broader issue of extremism with jonathan birdwell, a researcher at demos, a british think tank. his latest book, "the edge of violence," looks at the relationship between violent and non-violent radicals in europe and canada. and david art, an associate professor of political science at tufts university.
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his latest book is "inside the radical right: the development of anti-immigrant parties in western europe." jonathan bridwell, i will start with you. you had a chance to look at this so-called manifesto posted by anders breivak. broadly speaking what dow find there? >> well, it's quite a comprehensive documet. he outlines what he sees as the two main enemies as we've heard. mainly the growth of islam in europe and the culture of islam which he sees as a political ideology, and also what he calls cultural marxism or multiculturalism which he sees a as something which allowed immigration in europe and basically they are the reason why europe is suffering what he thinks is a crisis of cultural self-confidence.
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so this document outlines his ideology, but it also outlines what he thinks the so-called european resistance movement needs to do in the next 50 years to fight this threat that he perceives. >> and are there commonalities of ideas of themes? you look at a lot of other extremist groups and their writings on the web and elsewhere. are there commonalities that you see? >> well, there are certainly commonalities with other far right groups in terms of the threats of islam, the kind of shift from race-based arguments to a kind of emphasis on culture and the incompatability with islam and european culture. but i think what's quite interesting about breivik and unique is the idea that he sees himself as a kind of christian martyr. he believes that he is a member of the knights templar, which is a medieval organization back in the crusades. so far as i know, that organization isn't currently in existence. so i think that's an interesting unique aspect to breivik
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compared to other extremist far right groups at the moment. >> brown: david art, let me bring you in. we want to be careful to distinguish between one horrific violent act and nonviolent political actions around europe, but for context here, the kind of issues we're talking about, to what extent have they become part of the mainstream debate in areas that you study and part of today's politics in europe? >> well, they very much have. you talked about mainstream parties. it was angela merkel about a year ago who talked about multiculturalism has failed. you see similar discourse from nicolas sarkozy, and these are obviously mainstream european politicians. within radical right political parties-- and i would distinguish, you are quite right to distinguish from the far right radical political parties
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with a more extra parliamentary right-wing subculture-- among the former these ideas are really their signature issues: anti-immigration and particularly anti-islam. >> brown: and how much power do these parties have in norway and in scandinavia in particular? >> well, in norway they are not currently a member of the government, but they won mid-20% of the vote in the last election. they tolerated on minority government between 2001 and 2005. in denmark they are essentially part of a governing coalition there. recently in finland the true finns, a party that came from really nowhere, did quite well. they're a little small never sweden. they are represented in parliament, but they don't have the same influence in sweden as they do in norway and denmark. but in all four countries that i've mentioned, they are major players.
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>> brown: now jonathan birdwell, coming back to the more extreme and violent expressions of this, what is known about the makeup and size of those expressions throughout europe and in scandinavia in particular? >> right, well the past three or four years we've seen a kind of growth in these kind of street- based movements. the main one is in the u.k. called the english defense league. now these groups mainly organize demonstrations. they're very kind of loosely organized. and we've seen the growth in these movements across europe and scandinavia to varying degrees of success. we're actually currently in the middle of doing research into street-based movements across europe. and as i said, it varies significantly. on the one hand you have the very far extreme neo-nazi type groups and then the broader groups that are more populist and more focused on anti- immigration. so you definitely have seen a broader mobilization in the past three or four years of these groups. now the violent side of it is still quite small.
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but the risk is that the rhetoric of these broader groups, these street-based groups, can feed into the individuals like breivik who are more motivated towards violence. >> and is it known, as much known about how well organized these groups are either within countries or in different countries? >> well, it's difficult to determine. like i said, the organizations are quite loosely based. they make use of the internet. they focus on demonstrations. so for example the english defense league is by far the largest. they have 72,000 members on facebook and they attract on average 2,000 to 3,000 members to their demonstrations. but that is significantly larger than other groups in other european countries. so i was just in denmark doing research, and the fringe groups there are more in terms of 20 to 30 active members but with the broader membership of around 300
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to 400. so that was in denmark. so it's quite a large degree of variation. >> and david art, you know, right after this latest incident, of course political parties everywhere, right wing or otherwise, denounced the act and wanted to separate themselves. now how did that jive with the normal process there between some of the right wing political parties and the more extremist groups? do they try to separate themselves normally? >> normally, yes. and i mean the issue, one of the issues with breivik of course is that he was a member both of the progress party. he was a member of the youth wing before leaving the party-- and of the extra parliamentary right. so the question is how do these two spheres interact and you're quite right that most radical
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right parties have denounced breivik and distanced themselves from it. looking at the internet reaction you see only the most extremist fringes celebrating or at least not denouncing, at least not denouncing breivik. i think that obviously people have said well maybe the left sees an opportunity here to in some sort of morbid way make political play of this. so that, the debate that we're having right now and obviously are going to have for several months, is similar to the one that we have i think in the united states after loughner. i tend to see breivik-- just to differ with jonathan a bit on the organization of the violent extremist milieu-- they're relatively historically have been quite poorly organized. and fragmented. and the state's interior ministry in various countries have really been able to penetrate what organization there is, particularly in
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germany and to a lesser extent in sweden, too. so i see the movement probably as less organized as jonathan does, but it certainly does have the potential for mobilization. >> brown: all right. we will leave it there. thank you very much, david art and jonathan birdwell in london. thanks a lot. >> brown: much-needed aid is on the way to more than 11 million famine victims in east africa. the world bank today pledged to donate some $500 million in assistance to the drought- ravaged horn of africa. kevin rudd, australia's minister for foreign affairs, witnessed conditions firsthand today at a u.n. world food program camp in somalia. he warned that the situation is dire. >> this will be five times as bad come the end of the year if we don't act now.
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it's as simple as that. people like the brits, the canadians, ourselves, we put our best foot forward and there are other countries as well, but we do need more. but it is a direct appeal to people across the world, governments across the world to do their bit. >> brown: a u.n. donors conference set for wednesday in nairobi, kenya, will try to raise as much as a billion dollars in aid money. meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled from somalia into kenya. martin geissler of independent telelvision news is spending time at three hospitals there this week. and be advised: this story contains disturbing images. >> reporter: this is the biggest humanitarian crisis on earth. the intensive care unit at this hospital. the children they treat here have made it out of somalia but only just. the influx of refugees has put a huge pressure on state and staff. they only admit the most serious cases. today, like every day, the ward is full to bursting. as we film the mother arrived
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with her baby. when doctors saw minage even they were shocked. >> this is a very sick child. >> age just 7 months but the haggard face of a sick old man. >> i need some light. >> he is so dehydrated the staff struggle to find a vein. eventually they connected a drip and gave him vital fluids. the sir ing was bigger than its tiny arm. bewildered and terrified, he couldn't muster the strength to cry, just a haunting silent scream. >> if this child hadn't come in here, would he have been alive tonight? >> no, no, i don't think. i don't think. very lucky. >> it's amazing. yesterday we found arden in this ward. he's three. believe it or not, he weighs less than 12.5 pounds. a healthy child's weight at six
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months. his grandmother says the family walked here from somalia. it took them four weeks. this morning the nasal feeding tube was gone. he was sitting up and drinking. he had put weight on. with a little help and the right care, the human body can work miracles. >> this is the best gift i think i can give to any human being. i'm very joyful because that affects somebody's life and at the end of the day, the child will do very well. it gives me inner peace and joy. >> tonight in the hospital, the hard work continues. the horrors of somalia's famine countered by the hope. minaj makes a wonderful noise. >> screaming. >> he's crying. >> yeah. >> good. >> it's a good sign. >> the crucial first few hours have gone well. but there's a long fight ahead.
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>> brown: and again, the major developments of the day, in a televised address to the nation president obama warned a government default would be reckless and irresponsible. and would mean the u.s. doesn't have enough money to pay its bills. he called on lawmakers to find a quote fair compromise. speaker of the house john boehner responded saying the president wants a blank check and is to the going to get it he said the solution to the debt crisis is easy, spend less money. and a norwegian man who claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing and shooting rampage appeared in court as the nation paused to mourn the victims. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm jeffrey brown. >> and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you on-line and again here tomorrow evening. thank you and good night major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: chevron. we may have more in common than you think. and by the alfred p. sloan foundation.
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supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh
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